By Plane, Minneapolis
Eating at the airport is often a last-resort-only option for many travelers but not so in Minneapolis. Sure, you can have McDonald’s but does anyone over the age of 6 really want to? Local and international flavors abound at some of the following:
French Meadow Bakery and Cafe: on USA Today’s 10 Best Airport Restaurants list, and offers some gluten-free options
Ike’s food and Cocktails: civilized and sit-down, it’s on Frommers’ 10 Best and GateGuru’s top 25 lists
Surdyk’s Flights: one of CSNBC’s top 10 and best place to get box meals to go
Minnibar: "Bizarre Foods” host and local celeb Andrew Zimmern’s global-inspired sammies
Taste of Mill City Tavern: James Beard Award nominee, Lenny Russo, serves up fab local brews and an area-sourced menu
Volante: Doug Flicker’s offshoot of South Minneapolis’ Piccolo (Italian)
Mimosa: Go French with this sibling of Russell Klein’s Meritage in St. Paul
Shoyu: Japanese from Tanpopo’s Koshiki Yonemura
And if burgers are your thing, steer clear of golden arches and get thee to Twinburger: a spin-off of Matt’s Bar, that celebrated home of the original Jucy Lucy (yes, that is how it’s spelled.) If you haven’t had one of these molten marvels, grab a fistful of napkins and be prepared to “Fear the Cheese!”
Me? I never fly off without a large, dark chocolate Northern Lite latte from hometown-based Caribou Coffee in hand. Yum!
The good news:
Wifi is free!
The bad news:
You have to sit through a survey or advert first, and have to repeat that process every 45 minutes (or pay $3 for premium service.)
The best news is that there are currently over 1,000 ipads/ charging stations at restaurants, bars and gates on Concourse G, Terminal 1 with another 1,500 expected to be installed. Browse menus and order food or beverages; cruise the net; check your flight status; find a game for a bored child; power up your own device… It all makes the wait a little less painful, and it's all free as well.
Additional charging stations are found at other locations in both terminals
Forgot that giftie for the spouse or kiddies at home? Get it here: the MSP airport Mall is in the hallway directly behind the security checkpoints at Terminal 1, and offers jewelry, clothing, toys, electronics, leather goods, books, candy, local souvenirs and other goodies. Magazines, books and snacks for the flight can be found at additional shops along individual concourses. If nothing else, browsing the stuff is a good way to waste some time while waiting for boarding.
For international travelers, a duty-free shop is located near Checkpoint 7.
Smaller Terminal 2 has a just a couple of shops for reading material, trinkets, snacks and beverages.
Nice benefit? Because the shops are beyond the checkpoints, any liquids purchased - regardless of size - can go in your carry-on as long they fit!
NOTE: the Mall is a long way from gates on concourses A and B, and the furthest on C and G so do your shopping before you head off to waiting lounges in these areas.
The Minneapolis/Saint-Paul International Airport (MSP) sits between the Twin Cities and has two terminals, The Humphrey terminal with a Minneapolis address and the Lindbergh Terminal with a St. Paul Address.
Passenger airlines servicing the airport include:
Air Tran Airways
Comair (Delta Connection)
KLM Royal Dutch Airlines
Miami Air International
Skywest (Delta Connection)
Sun Country Airlines
Obviously, this is a major airport and the different terminals are served by different airlines. To me it can come a bit confusing, so be sure to know from which terminal you will be landing and/or leaving. The terminals are not far apart and both seem to use the same runways. Both terminals are serviced by light rail which runs north to downtown Minneapolis and south to the Mall of America in Bloomington.
MSP's Lindbergh Terminal is located just off Highway 5 in St. Paul. Highway 5 connects to Interstate 494 and Highway 55, making MSP easily accessible from any direction. The Humphrey Terminal is just off Interstate 494 near 34th Avenue.
Minneapolis/St. Paul International Airport is a hub for Northwest and it's pretty easy to find non-stop flights from most major cities. Internationally there are non-stop flights from London, Amsterdam, Tokyo and Reykjavik.
Minneapolis International Airport.
This is the birthplace of Charles Lindbergh and you'll see this tribute to him at the airport. It's a modern, international airport with all of the usual amenities and is a main hub for Northwest Airlines. There are plenty of places to grab a drink and lots of shops to browse.
The airport code is MSP.
Minneapolis is the hub for NorthWest Airlines. I know the Minneapolis airport pretty well as most flights from Winnipeg to the States have a stop here. Minneapolis is one of the few airports with fastfood restaurants at fastfood prices (I presume because NWA does not serve food on their flights).
If you live in the Upper Midwest as I do, it's inevitable that sooner or later you will have some time to kill at MSP. Actually, it's one of my favorite Hub airports. There are plenty of interesting nooks and crannies in lounge in, two decent bookstores, a brew pub, and several long corridors or passageways that offer intriguing perspectives. This is a good place to reflect upon the quiddity of travel.
I must admit, MSP is one of the best airports in the nation. It has quick security and great public areas.
The downside: NorthWest Airlines has the monopoly here, it's not a cheap place to fly to.
We flew Northwest from Chicago-Midway. A pretty good experience all around. The MSP ariport has changed a LOT since I was last there back in the dark ages.